The good, the blog and the ugly

Ever wondered how effective online blogs might be for your newspaper? If your response to this is “what is a blog?”, you should realise that you are reading a blog now…

But for all those executives in Victoria and Wapping who have invested so much cash and prestige in establishing a “multi-platform media offering” in addition to the core business of publishing a newspaper, the following preliminary research from America will make uncomfortable reading.

It’s from a sample of journalist-bloggers across the United States working on the sports desks of local television stations, newspapers and radio stations. The respondents are primarily reporters, anchors and editors who contribute to a blog site at their media outlets.

Here are some of the questions and response totals:

Blogging makes an important contribution to our sports coverage -48% disagree, 32% agree

Our blogging has increased our audience size – 74% disagree, 18% agree

Our blog readers also consume our traditional sports content – 67% disagree, 16% agree

Blogging has made me a better sports journalist – 71% disagree, 12% agree

The report can be found on a blog (where else?) on the Journal of Sports Media, run by the sports journalism school at the University of Mississippi, where assistant professor Brad Schultz writes:

The qualitative data also indicate some very real concerns about management. Many of the respondents feel “forced” into writing a blog, which consumes extra time for no extra pay. They also worry about the lack of standards for blogs. Several comments touched on the lack of accountability. Despite all this, a plurality of respondents (47%) believed the role of blogging in sports journalism would increase in the future.

Schultz promises to return to the subject again soon. So watch his blog space.

And if you still want to know what a blog is, then check out Wikipedia. Please don’t ask “What’s Wikipedia?”

Otherwise, check out these related stories:
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